Whilst there have been many accounts from specific escapees who took part in the famed Wooden Horse escape from Stalag Luft III, there have been few objective historical studies of the camp as a whole. Many attempts at escape characterised its history, and the story of its establishment is a fascinating one. Now, historian Robert Laplander attempts to provide a comprehensive history of the camp and compound, framed around the ingenious Wooden Horse escape.
The author describes Eric Williams' classic book The Wooden Horse as merely an introduction to the escape, arguing that its creation was impeded by both a lack of necessary historical scope and regulations of the Crown. Today, however, there is much more material to take advantage of, including official documents that have been released and eye-witnesses that have spoken out – enough to justify this re-appraisal of the events at Stalag Luft III. The author's rigourous approach to the subject matter is evident from the outset. Supplemented throughout by a range of fascinating illustrations, including shots of a full scale replica of the vaulting horse used which the author constructed specifically for the purposes of understanding the logistics of the escape yet further, the book represents a competent and exhaustive account of the escape in its entirety, set solidly in context in order to provide an overview of the camps history from establishment to demise.
This 272-page, hardcover book is illustrated by a number of fascinating photos. They include some looks at a full-scale replica of the vaulting horse constructed by the dedicated author to gain insight into the logistics of the escape.Toy Soldier & Model Figure Magazine
Overall, this book is an in-depth account of the 'Wooden Horse' escape, authoritatively set within the context of Stalag Luft III's brief history from March 1942 to January 1945.
This is a history of all that went on in the East Compound at Stalag Luft III at the same time providing a wealth of new information and images regarding the Wooden Horse escape.The Bulletin (Military Historical Society)
If you’re into The Colditz Story or The Great Escape or anything like that, don’t hesitating in picking this up, as it’s a great, exciting read, and very well presented.Suppressing Fire
A refreshing new look at a well known story… (Laplander’s) book is a worthwhile addition to the history of an amazing feat by special people… A good job well done.David Windle, President of The Colditz Society
A gripping story (that is) truly well researched and written… I almost had to shake the sand out of my clothes before going to bed!Lewis Wood, Author of These Men of Banstead: Stories from the War Memorial
Laplander's book is remarkable not only for the depth of research that clearly went into describing the POW escapes and escapers, but also the numerous flashes of humor, grit and ingenuity that made their defiance so inspiring. The whole book acts as a sort of mosaic, blending a thousand accounts, opinions and recollections into an honest picture of the challenges and motivations of those determined to aim for a "Home Run" despite the odds. It deserves to be read by historians and armchair escapologists alike.Brendan Foley, Author of Under the Wire: The Remarkable Wartime Adventures of a Spitfire Pilot, Escape Artist and 'Cooler King'
Surely one of the best researched, most authoritative and exciting renditions of the story to date. Finally, a book that gives the full back story of the most successful allied escape of the war! (Laplander) gives us the true flavor of what it took to build a tunnel and what the cost was… If you buy just one book about WW2 escapers and the POW experience then this should be the one.Allan Hunter, Author of From Coastal Command to Captivity: The Memoir of a Second World War Airman